Vinton “Vint” Cerf is one of the most important personalities in the technology sector. It has been decades since it implemented the TCP/IP protocols necessary for Internet communications. In addition, he also worked on the development of electronic mail. Here in this article, we will let you know about two biggest failure of the internet
Considered one of the “fathers of the Internet“, in recent years Cerf has focused on exploring the future of the network he helped to create; his influence continues to be felt, especially as vice president of Google, a position he has held since 2005 and which has given him the necessary platform to expand his vision of what the Internet should look like. He tried to discuss two main failure of the internet.
The biggest failure of the Internet
But it’s impossible to talk about what the Internet should look like if we don’t know what to fix. And we are not just talking about the many technical challenges faced by the network of networks; we are talking about conceptual errors that should have been corrected at the time, and that we are now suffering.
In a recent interview with Business Insider, Vint Cerf has done self-criticism, revealing what for him are the main failures of the Internet. There are only two of them, but they are so important, and they have affected the expansion of the Internet so much, that they don’t really need more.
First failure: there is not enough space
The first mistake was simply that the Internet does not have enough “space” for everyone, because Cerf could not foresee its popularity. Let’s remember that the Internet began as ARPANet, a communications network designed for the U.S. military; initially, the number of computers connected to the network could be counted on the fingers of the hands. Even as it began to expand across universities, not all had the hardware or knowledge to connect.
In fact, when Cerf designed the TCP/IP protocol, it was too optimistic. His idea was that each computer on the network would have a unique IP address, so that two computers could connect to each other, ignoring the other computers on the network.
To generate that address, he created a 32-bit system that could generate up to 4.3 billion different addresses. Bearing in mind that this figure was larger than the Earth’s population in the 1970s, not even in his wildest dreams did Cerf think that so many addresses would be necessary. I was wrong.
Nowadays it is increasingly rare to assign an IP address to a single computer; technologies such as DCHP are needed, which assigns a dynamic address to a system when it connects. In addition, IPv6 has been developed, which exponentially increases the number of available addresses, but adoption remains slow.
Second failure of internet: No integrated security
Security is one of the biggest concerns of Internet users, but in the beginning, no protection was really thought of. Communications were public and anyone who connected could intercept them; they could even pass themselves off as another system, as there was no way to verify identity either.
Over the decades, many security systems have been developed that work on top layers; but at its core, the Internet remains insecure. Cerf is justified by the time it had to implement the protocols; after years of development, the launch came upon it and there was still a lot of work to be done. Security, considered secondary with so few connected systems, was sacrifice.
But curiously, Cerf does not regret it now that it has seen the consequences; that is because it was thanks to this low level of security that the Internet was able to expand so rapidly. Forcing users to use passwords and companies to implement complex security systems wouldn’t exactly have helped. In addition, the development of technologies such as HTTPS have partly covered this deficiency.